When I was young, I admired people I saw on TV making people laugh. As I recall, Bob Hope held his birthday specials around the same time as my birthday. Thus, I particularly connected with him. Impersonators and those who could mimic sounds also intrigued me.
Entertaining people, particularly making them laugh, became a dream of mine. There was even one occasion where I had an audience laughing quite hard. Afterwards, someone suggested I go into comedy. This made me believe comedy was an area where I could be successful.
Then, I made the mistake of telling my mother my desire to be a comedian. She scoffed at the idea. Since she valued money over most everything else in life, she told me that I couldn’t make money being a comedian. I recalled thinking about how Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and others must have been making good money. I was old enough to realize that there were probably lots of others that were struggling to “make it big.” Still, she sucked the air right out of my balloon and my desire to become a comedian deflated.
As an adult, I tried my hand at improv, which is very different from stand-up comedy. My first improve class was fun, but the second one was not nearly as enjoyable. Therefore, my enthusiasm in learning improv went right down the drain.
Over the last several years, I have reflected back on these experiences. I realize that if I truly had a strong desire to become a comedian, nothing would have swayed me from achieving my dream. Looking below the surface, I have asked myself, “What about being a comedian is attractive to me?”
When I think about comedy, I see it as a tool to help people feel happy, even for a short time. I lost my father at a young age and I think I had an appreciation for the feelings of sadness that others had. I think I wanted to make others feel good like the old-time comedians made me feel.
Truly Helping People
Now, I realize that comedy is a short-term solution and I really desire to improve people’s lives in a more permanent way. Thus, my true passion is to help others make a connection with that thing that lights up their face, puts a twinkle in their eye, and gets them excited about living life. From there, we can work together on finding ways to integrate their passion into their daily life.
What is it that you want to be when you grow up? Take that desire and look under the surface to see what truly motivates you. Once you make that connection, look for ways to integrate your passion into your daily life.